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Romney 15, Charlotte 10, Bill Clinton 9, Clinton 8, Us 8, Rendell 6, America 5, Howard Wolfson 4, Dr. Zeke Emanuel 4, Ann Romney 4, North Carolina 3, Margaret Carlson 3, Julian Castro 3, Massachusetts 3, Dr. Emanuel 3, Margaret 3, Kal Penn 2, New York City 2, Barack Obama 2, Geico 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    September 5, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PDT  

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kicked off with something that looked and felt a lot like a barn burner. it is wednesday, september 5th and this is "now." joining me today, former hillary clinton advisor and deputy new york city mayor, howard wolfson. and former new jersey senator and democratic presidential candidate, bill bradley. in a tour de force last night, democrats launched a dramatic and specific take-down of the republican challenger for the white house. one by one, they took aim at governor romney's qualifications, his values and his platform. keynote speaker mayor julian castro painted romney as so out of touch, he isn't able to
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recognize privilege. >> mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. i don't think governor romney meant any harm. i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good he's had it. >> former ohio governor ted strickland slammed romney's record at bain. >> mitt romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit by tearing it down. if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves. >> the iraq war veteran who lost both legs in combat and is now running for congress in illinois chastised romney for remaining silent on foreign policy. >> -- chance to show his support for the brave men and women he's seeking to command, but he chose to criticize president obama instead of even uttering the
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word afghanistan. >> naral president nancy keenan and pay equity activist lily ledbetter warned of what a president romney would mean for women. >> we cannot trust mitt romney to protect our health. we cannot trust mitt romney to respect our rights. >> women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. maybe 23 cents doesn't sound like a lot to someone with a swiss bank account, a cayman island investment. >> but perhaps the most surprising and effective indictment came from the first lady herself. while republicans dragged a chair onstage to conjure up an invisible president obama, michelle obama critiqued governor romney without mentioning his name, drawing sharp contrasts with her husband and creating a profile in negatives. >> barack's success isn't about how much money you make. it's about the difference you make in people's lives.
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we learned about honesty and integrity, that the truth matters, that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules. he's the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs. the issues that come across a president's desk are always the hard ones. the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. i have seen first-hand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. >> joining us now from charlotte, north carolina, is margaret carlson of bloomberg news. margaret, great to see you. before i get to you, i want to send a question over to our folks on set. senator bradley, someone who has in fact run for president, i want to ask you the question of michelle obama as a surrogate has never been one that i think has been unanswered in the public sphere which is to say she's always been great, right? last night, i think she took it
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to a new level and while she never named mitt romney or his vp, her speech was very much a point by point take-down of everything they represent. i want to know what you thought of her speech. >> i thought her speech was exceptional. i thought one of the things she did extremely well is everything she said, you could tell she felt deeply and personally. so it came across tremendously authentic and therefore, had a lot of power. and she talked not simply about the president but about the country, about their lives together, their family, where they come from, and she's talked i think brilliantly about making sure you reach back and give other people the same chances that you've had, because you worked hard. if they work hard, they should be able to have the same success. >> howard, we talked a lot about the role of ann romney during the rnc and that was to humanize her husband, mitt romney. in a way, what michelle obama did last night was humanize the government and sort of put a
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personal face on it, which was barack obama's face, and the struggles he felt were the struggles of the american public. what was your assessment of the pea speech? >> ann romney gave a good speech on behalf of her husband. michelle obama gave an amazing speech on behalf of her husband, one of the best speeches any of us have heard in a long time. absolutely right, he drew -- she drew a contrast without ever saying his name very effectively. what stuck with me were the sort of small moments in the speech, talking about how barack obama when the kids were little go in and look at the crib to make sure that they were still breathing or you know, driving around in the car that had a hole in the floor, going down and having dinner with the kids every night in the white house. it was incredibly humanizing. you came away with such a strong sense of who barack obama is, why he cares so much about what he's doing. it was an absolute grand slam home run in every way, drew a contrast without being overly negative, but also did such a good job of lifting barack obama up and lifting the hall up.
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>> margaret, you are in charlotte. tell us a little about the reaction. we could see the cheers and the sense of enthusiasm came through the television screen, but tell us a little how michelle obama was received last night. >> well, of course she had the hall at hello. they were waiting for her and at these conventions, there is much, you know, networking as watching anything that's going on stage but the people got out of the aisles, they stopped talking to their friends, they put their iphones away and they listened silently and raptly and what i found remarkable about the speech, which is what most, you know, professional speakers, candidates themselves don't get, is that it was a speech, it was an oratory. it began slow, had a beginning, a middle and an end. it wasn't a laundry list. it wasn't a bunch of applause lines strung together. it was a story and she told it
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perfectly, like someone who was in theater and no one looked away. no one did anything except listen. >> that's -- >> you know, that show and tell way, if i just might add, show and tell from first grade, she mostly showed. every example was pitch perfect and you know, many of them just indelible like her father struggling to work each morning so they could go to college. >> senator, margaret makes a really good point which is the narrative arc of it. there was a moment i think towards the three-quarter mark where she almost had a sort of preacherly cadence to what she was saying. we talked a lot about her husband being one of the most sort of eloquent and skillful orators of the 21st century. michelle obama came up there last night and gave her husband a run for the money. e.j. dionne has a really good assessment, saying it was a speech that was thoroughly apolitical on the surface but carried multiple political messages, linking a very traditional message about parenting with a call for social
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justice. i mean, this was the obama sort of narrative for the country writ large, and as margaret says, it was packaged in a much more sort of humble box, if you will, which is the story of a man and a woman and their lives together. >> i think also, what she did was she took success and kind of defined it more thoroughly than republicans did. democrats are for success. we want people to succeed, do well, make money, whatever, but we also define success in craving a kind of society where everybody has a chance to move up to that level of success and how government plays a role in that. republican convention government was the enemy. this convention, is the reality of life. i think she was speaking to families all across this country that have been hard hit, very few earners making any more
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money, per capita income in 2010 the same as in 1996, and she was telling them who are in many cases on the fence that we are for you, and i think she came across very powerfully in doing that. >> she had that line which i will botch completely, but basically saying that success is not how well you're doing but how well we are all doing. >> that was among the things that made this speech so spectacular, was the ability to draw these contrasts with mitt romney without ever saying his name. and without ever appearing harsh. one of the things you learn in politics is it's difficult for a woman to stand up in front of a large crowd of people and speak harshly in political terms, and yet you need to be able to draw these contrast points in politics, and she managed to do it without ever saying his name, without ever appearing harsh, while being a mother and a wife. it just was incredible. i can't say enough good things about this speech. >> i think a lot of people are having a hard time saying anything negative about it.
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margaret, the question of being a woman on the national stage is something that we bandied about a lot and i think more scrutiny has been paid to ann romney just because she's a newer figure on the national stage. but i think howard makes a really important and good point there. the delicate line one must tread and we know historically, michelle obama has had the issue of sort of the angry black woman has been the stereotype she herself has acknowledged and has been sort of discussed in the national media dialogue. i guess your assessment in terms of the two women negotiating that role. >> well, a woman even less than a man has a narrower road to travel because very quickly, you get labeled something you don't want to be labeled if you are in the least bit strident. giving a speech, being on tv is easy, not that i do it well. >> you do a great job of it, margaret. >> but you know what i mean. giving a speech in front of an audience is like frightening because you have that sea of faces looking at you and you've
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got no net. so to do it well is exceedingly hard and to give a speech, as i mentioned, is exceedingly hard and she answered almost every indictment against obama and made the case for him with almost never mentioning an issue. she didn't say anything about you didn't build that but she said teachers, we have janitors and teachers to thank for our success. our success is measured if we reach back and bring people, you know, up behind us. she talked about the college debt and you know, there was a continuation here, unlike at the republican convention. by the way, i want to add that i thought the personal testimony for romney on that last night was also very moving, but i didn't find it the same thing in any of the speeches. but mayor castro was very good in his speech, unlike chris christie after ann romney's speech. the theme was the same.
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when he says that my grandmother mopped these floors so that i could hold this microphone was completely consistent with the message that mrs. obama was delivering about her own background and how they came up. >> indeed, we will talk about mayor castro and some of the other speakers on deck last night. there were plenty of them who name checked governor romney last night. senate majority leader among them used the opportunity to hit the governor on his tax returns -- >> today's republican party believes in two sets of rules. one for millionaires and billionaires, and another for the middle class. and this year, they have nominated the strongest proponent and clearest beneficiary of this rigged game, mitt romney. >> but while dems were on the attack they also used last night to highlight actual legislation and the record of the president in the oval office. we will get into all of that next on "now."
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if we want to earn the privilege to lead, my message is this. it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe. >> that was massachusetts governor deval patrick last night throwing the gauntlet and considerably raising the bar for the speeches that would follow his last evening. joining us now from charlotte is "time" magazine's joel stein. joel, do we have you? are you there? you are. good to see you, my friend. how are you? >> i'm good. how are you? you should be here. it's better to be here. >> we will be there soon, soon, soon enough. just in time for really terrible weather.
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you're in charlotte, as we've acknowledged, and i want to talk to you about the speech making that happened last night. we spent a lot of time talking in the last segment about the first lady's speech but by no means was that the barn -- it might have been the barn burner of all barn burners but certainly there was a level of speech making, a level of enthusiasm and real passion not just for the democratic party but for the president and his policies. deval patrick to a lot of folks' minds stole the show, came out of the gate with an incredibly strong speech and that sound we just played, a call to arms to his fellow democrats. what was it like for you? >> yeah, there was a lot of excitement last night. kal penn was really good and people mentioned specific things, in fact, specific people. i don't think they can keep this up. we only have three days, right? still, i don't think they can keep this up for all three days. >> well, you have bill clinton tonight so if there's anybody that can sort of be the tent pole here, it is certainly the former president. >> it's bill clinton forced to speak in less than three and a half hours. it will be the good bill
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clinton. >> presumably he will be speaking for shorter than several hundreds of minutes. i want to go back to our panel in new york and talk about the other speakers last night. julian castro may be the inheritor to the throne, he's the first hispanic official to give a keynote address at a democratic national convention. he has, much like the president, a very compelling personal story. let's hear a little bit of sound about him talking about the expectations in his family and his own roots. >> my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. >> the interesting thing, we were talking about this last night, the gop made sort of i guess you would call them an outreach to the hispanic community largely by trotting out a few sentences in spanish but in terms of actual policy and shining a light on what mitt romney and paul ryan are proposing policy-wise on immigration or any number of other policies that affect the hispanic community, they were
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completely silent. this night was much more about drawing attention to what the president has done, what he would like to do. the dream act was mentioned and you had surrogates like julian castro and his brother delivering that message. >> the republican convention had senator rubio who gave the best speech of the republican convention. he actually had a line very similar to that one where he said my dad worked in the back so i could stand up here. the problem was that the policies that he was talking about weren't actually related to anything the republicans were talking about, whereas there's a consistency between what the democratic speakers were talking about and what the democrats want to do in power. there was a disconnect about what senator rubio was talking about and what the republicans would actually do in power. >> it seems, senator bradley, that in some ways, the outreach to minorities on the part of the gop has been little more than a tipping of the hat and really at the end of the day, the folks that they're really trying to get to the polls that is of white working class voters, the welfare ad that mitt romney has been running seems to be an
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appeal to i think not the better angels of those in the working class community and in some ways, is pretty racially divisive. what did you make about the fact that last night, it was almost, you could have broken down the evening into various slices of the electorate that the democrats are trying to appeal to, whether it was youth with kal penn, whether hispanic vote with speakers like castro, whether that was a minority vote with plenty of african-american speakers on the roster. did you find, is it effective? >> i thought it was very effective and of course, it was capped by michelle obama saying okay, now you got to come out and vote. people have to vote and i think there was an intensity last night that was really amazing and it was an intensity i think based upon an understanding that it is the second term of a president's eight years where big things can really happen. the first term, you're setting things up, running for re-election, even though barack
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obama has done big things, it's the second half of his eight years that will be the time we seal the deal and the time we deliver the maximum we can deliver for hard-working families in this country. that intensity, i don't think you can underestimate. >> you know, joel, there is the asterisk to all this is the turnout question. among all these slices of the electorate, the president polls really well, he won the hispanic vote by large margins, 30%, 38% in 2008, but the question is whether people are going to come out and vote for him in november. certainly 49% i believe of latinos are not that compelled by this election narrative and among young people, you mentioned there was kal penn last night. look, obama won the youth vote by 34% in 2008 but among 18 to 29 year olds who definitely plan to vote, definitely being i guess confirmation that they will be in the booth, only 61%
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say they will compared to 86% of older voters. you know, how real is this enthusiasm in the long term and by long term, i mean in the next three months? what's your take on that? >> people aren't excited. the whole narrative last night, especially michelle obama's speech, was this is still the same guy who frankly kind of disappointed you. the narrative in the romney speech was, you know, you were most excited about him before he became president, then he disappointed you. i think it's hard to fire up these people and get them ready to go but obama of course is really, really good at the nitty-gritty of getting people literally knocking on doors, getting them out to vote. if anyone can do it, he can do it. the problem like you said is we didn't see a lot of white males last night. i spent the whole day going to various caucuses and i didn't see a white guy basically until i got to the mormons for obama group. there are not a lot of white people on display here, white men on display. he has to get them.
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he's like at 34% with white guys who didn't go to college and that's a tough thing to compensate for. >> sure, but that's probably explained some of the doubling down among base groups like h hispanics and african-americans and white women and single women, who have to make up that gap unless mormons for obama come out in numbers that are unprecedented and thus far, undocumented. unfortunately, we have to leave it there. thank you to joel stein. we will see you soon, my friend. thank you to senator bill bradley for your wisdom, expertise and perspective, as always. great to have you on set. coming up, selling it. after months of being bashful, last night democrats stepped up to the mike on health care. we look at one of the president's signature laws and its place in the party platform when dr. zeke emanuel joins us ahead on "now." look! she wears the scarlet markings!
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coming up, there was no shortage of praise for president obama's health care law at the dnc last night. one of the more moving testimonies came when stacy lynn, the mother of a toddler with congenital heart disease, described what the passage of the affordable care act meant to her. >> governor romney says people like me were the most excited about president obama the day we voted for him, but that's not true. not even close. for me, there was the day the affordable care act passed and i no longer had to worry about getting zoe the care she needed. >> we will take a closer look at the president's signature achievement with dr. zeke emanuel and governor ed rendell, next.
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the democratic party platform released this week embraces the law, saying quote, we believe accessible, affordable high quality health care is part of the american promise, that americans should have the security that comes with good health care and that no one should go broke because they get sick. republicans, meanwhile, are not necessarily offering anything new. according to their party platform, quote, congressional republicans are committed to the repeal of the affordable care act and a republican president on the first day in office will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt its progress and then will sign its repeal. it has been more than two months since the supreme court upheld the affordable care act but public opinion still remains split. a kaiser family foundation poll from last month showed 43% of the public has an unfavorable view of the law. 38% has a favorable view. but opinion could start to change now that more of the law's provisions are starting to kick in. according to the department of health and human services, this summer, nearly 13 million
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americans received a billion dollars worth of rebate checks from their health insurance companies. 47 million women became eligible for free preventive services and since the beginning of the year, seniors have saved more than $4 billion on prescription drugs. of course, those tangible benefits have not stopped opponents from using scare tactics to oppose the affordable care act. the conservative group americans for prosperity started running ads that week using the age-old time-tested blame canada strategy. >> the american system was there for me when i needed it, and it's time for americans to get engaged in this debate. >> to protect america's patient centered care, we must replace president obama. >> joining us now is former white house advisor for health policy, dr. zeke emanuel, and from charlotte, north carolina, nbc news political analyst, former pennsylvania governor, ed rendell, the honorary governor of "now." dr. emanuel, i would like to start with you first on this in
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terms of health care. we're finally seeing democrats talk about it, wrap their arms around it. last night we had an extensive series of testimonials about how the affordable care act has been an important and in some cases life-saving piece of legislation. do you think we are finally at a point where we can successfully, democrats can successfully sell obama care? >> well, i think that they have to communicate the substance of the bill has always been very positive for the united states, whether you're interested in insuring the 50 million people who don't have coverage, whether you're interested in improving the quality for everyone and reducing things like hospital infections or readmissions, and whether you're interested in cost control and restraining the excess growth that we've had in health care. it's all been in the bill. the communication strategy is i think now revving up and i hope that it really takes. >> dr. emanuel, i have to ask a follow-up to that.
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we were looking at sort of the provisions that are taking place now and those that are going to kick in in 2014. in 2014, there are some big ones coming down the pike, the exchanges, insurance exchanges are established, the individual mandate takes effect, medicaid expands, there are insurance tax credits and probably the biggest one, the prohibition on denials due to pre-existing conditions takes effect. those are all really big selling points as far as the affordable care act goes. my question is why was the timing such that they only kick in in 2014 after an election? >> well, a lot of people said we should move that up. the simple fact of the matter is it's taking a lot of work to get the exchanges up and running and to make sure that we have all the information and the subsidies in place, and even with the 2014 deadline which is very aggressive timeline, people are working 24/7 to get everything in place. the second thing is frankly a budgetary consideration which is
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it costs money and there was, you know, you had to get the timing right to get it into the budget and we were looking at having the economy recover, but i think it's really the mechanics that was the heart and soul of this. you can't get rid of the pre-existing condition exclusion until you have the exchanges in place for everyone to get coverage, to have the exchanges really does require time to set them up, and that just isn't like the flip of a light switch. that does require putting things in place and it takes time to do that. and that's where 2014 was selected. remember, while the exchanges are going to open on january 1st or coverage is going to begin on january 1st, 2014, the exchanges actually have to open in 2013 because you need to have a shopping period where people can compare different products, which means that state insurance regulators have to look at various offerings by the insurance companies in the spring of 2013 which means that
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they have to begin developing them. so you back it up and people are already more than up to their necks in hard work, again, trying to make this happen. so it was not just capricious we want to push it back. we knew there was an election but we were not driven by politics. we were driven by what the system could tolerate. >> certainly it is not like turning on a light switch. governor rendell, you are in charlotte and we heard, as i said before, some really compelling stories about how the affordable care act has changed lives. are you happy about the job the democrats are doing in terms of selling one of the president's signature pieces of legislation? >> well, let me just say real quickly, what zeke said is correct. my last year as governor, we started building our exchange, but there were many states that withheld a decision on the exchange until the supreme court acted. there are some states who haven't even decided whether the federal government's going to run their exchange or they're going to run the exchange themselves which is their option under the act. so we needed all that time and
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maybe even then some to be ready to go. in terms of your question, alex, democrats have done a lousy job defending the act. in my book, "a nation of wusses" i have a chapter called "stand and defend" and i point out that in 2010, a lot of blue dogs who voted for the act ran away from it. they didn't make the case about all the things you outlined, all the good things that have already come online that are helping people. they ran away from the act thinking that somehow people wouldn't realize they voted for it and they lost. they should have stood and defended what is a good act, not a perfect act, but a good act that's going to end the disgrace of america being the only developed nation in the world not to guarantee its citizens health care. >> howard, one of the, i guess the silver lining, although it's probably more than that, as the democrats wrap their arms around the affordable care act, they get to bring up the health care law and health care in general, and of course, mitt romney's record on health care, which is actually impressive.
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if you look at the numbers, the number of uninsured in massachusetts, it was 10.9%. by 2010 it's 6.3%. of course, the national rate is 17.1%. it still amazes me that mitt romney has not found a way to sell what is a significant accomplishment. i guess from the perspective of just even states' rights that could be a way to get into this but so far he's proven completely ill-equipped to talk about this. >> you have an election in which both sides are having problems talking about this. up until last night, you didn't hear the democrats talk a lot about president obama's health care law. i think governor rendell is absolutely right. democrats have done a lousy job of talking about it, of defending it. last night you probably had a lot of progressives and democrats saying what took so long, why is this the first time we're hearing all these great things, why is this the first time we are hearing these kind of testimonials, probably should have been done a long time ago. at the same time, you have governor romney who is unavailable to talk about his signature accomplishment in government. so both sides have actually had a problem talking about this.
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democrats look like they're finally getting around to it. i don't think we will ever hear governor romney give a real explanation as to what he was doing in massachusetts. >> i don't know -- >> i do think the republican alternative, we should really be clear about this, we have a coherent view from the democrats in obama care and it's having a big impact already in the health care system. hospitals are changing what they're doing to improve their costs, to improve their quality. doctors are reformulating and reengineering the care they give but the alternative on access, guaranteeing the uninsured or guaranteeing people with pre-existing conditions coverage, republicans don't have an alternative, on reducing costs they say we're going to have more competition in the system. we've had that competition for decades and it hasn't had costs under control. i haven't heard a word about quality, except people will be able to choose we're going to give them a voucher and they'll be able to choose but that's not about quality, about reducing hospital infections, reducing
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mistakes. so we have a clear choice here i think between a plan that is coherent and that is actually already significantly affecting the system, and not much else. and we never had an alternative view from the republicans that was coherent. to the extent that representative ryan has a view on medicare, it's either to cost shift to old people or it's not going to save any money at all. those two alternatives are not desirable, it seems to me. >> governor, i want to give you the last question here. i mean, it would seem as if the democrats could slowly paint the republicans into a corner on this one, given as dr. emanuel said, the fact they have no viable or sort of illustrated alternative, and governor romney's record on, you know, state provided or state health care involving the state system. >> it's a great opportunity during the debate, if the question of health care comes up and of course it will, for president obama to turn to
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governor romney and say okay, let's assume you're president, you just repealed the affordable health care act, what next? how are you going to guarantee americans health care? how are you going to get rid of the lifetime cap on health care costs? how are you going to get rid of the ban on people with pre-existing conditions, getting health care? i think governor romney would be at a loss. >> thank you -- >> i agree. i think the repeal and replace, replace has always been an empty suit. there has never been content there. i think that's the key question for the republicans. what's the content? is it really just the voucher and then americans should understand that the voucher is really not for seniors, it is not a solution to the whole health care system. >> dr. zeke emanuel, there are so many empty suits on that side of the aisle but that's another discussion for another day. thank you for your time, sir. great to have you on the show. >> thank you. good to be back. after the break, team obama parties like it's 1992 as former president bill clinton gets set to address the dnc tonight and
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officially nominate president obama as the party's nominee. we will discuss the special relationship between presidents obama and clinton, coming up next. ♪ [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help
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you said in 2004 there was no difference between you and george bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004, and there's no difference in your voting record ever since. give me a break. this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale i have ever seen. >> that was former president bill clinton during the 2008 primary battle when he was no fan of then candidate barack obama. four years later, the public relationship has thawed and clinton's pick couldn't be clearer. >> president obama has a plan to rebuild america from the ground up, investing in innovation, education and job training. it only works if there is a
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strong middle class. that's what happened when i was president. we need to keep going with his plan. >> there is perhaps no one else in the democratic party who can lay out the party's vision quite like former president clinton. team obama is well aware of that and has made the former prez a linchpin in their re-election plan. according to maureen dowd, it's not a bromance like romney and paul ryan. it's a transaction. obama needs his predecessor to reassure jittery voters that the future can look like the past with a lower deficit, plenty of jobs and the two parties actually talking. in return, bill will have the capital to try to ensure that the past can look like the future with hillary as obama's successor. we have still of course former governor ed rendell and margaret carlson from bloomberg news. governor, a few days ago on this channel, on this show, we talked about the welfare ads that team romney was running and sort of the i think divisive attack, line of attack trying to split white working class voters from the rest of the electorate,
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saying president obama wants to get rid of the welfare work requirements. you said one person can debunk that notion and it is bill clinton. tell us a little bit about what you see his role as a surrogate being in the coming months. he's talking tonight of course and the expectations are high. >> i think tonight and throughout the coming months, he's going to be the truth teller. he's going to talk to those independent voters, the white working class democrats, and tell them the truth, that president obama's waiver is not reducing the work requirement, it's actually increasing it. it requires states to come up with a plan that will increase work participation by 20%. when bill clinton tells them that, they will believe it. he will be able to talk about this idea that raising taxes on the rich is going to kill job creation. that's what they said when he did it in 1993 and we then proceeded to have 23.5 million new jobs created despite all the calls that it's going to kill the job creators.
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so he's in a great position to debunk a lot of the republican myths that have been launched against president obama and his policies. i think he's going to do a great job. >> howard, you bore witness to that 2008 campaign, to say the least. i thought this was a really interesting observation. there was a profile about the relationship between the two presidents and speaking of obama, it's also an ideological turnaround. obama who rose to the oval office by posting himself as an opposite of bush, is now presenting himself as his heir apparent. it's now something the president seems to embrace. >> it caps another come-back in the many string of come-backs for the come-back kid. four years ago at this time, his wife had lost the primary, he
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was being criticized for what some considered divisive tactics during the campaign. a lot of then senator obama's supporters were angry at him. a lot of his own supporters were angry at him. here he is four years later being asked to come back, stand on the stage of president obama's re-election coronation celebration and give a speech on behalf of the president. it's just sort of a wonderful moment and i think he's going to knock it out of the park. there is nobody in the democratic party who can speak to economic anxiety in the way that president clinton can. he obviously has the record to fall back on. he has a very unique way of talking about these things, very approachable. i think it is a brilliant move by president obama and i give him a lot of credit. first you go back asking then senator clinton to become secretary of state, a very unusual move. >> which he was in large part the sort of motor behind it, sounds like. >> reaching out to a defeated former colleague, asking her to come on board. now doing the same thing to
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former president clinton, asking him to come on board, healing the rifts of the democratic party. big tent. going to be a big night. >> margaret, it's interesting the romney campaign has been trying to sort of call upon the clinton era as a reminder to voters of what america used to be like, and certainly there is i guess if there's a flipside to bringing bill clinton out onstage, it is precisely reminding america of where the economy was under bill clinton and where it is not under president obama. your thoughts on bill clinton speaking tonight? >> i think we'll see the come-back kid unbound because everyone longs for the prosperity of the clinton look fondly. of course, he elevates him at the cost of obama but he elevates him. and this gives bill clinton a pass to talk about himself, which he likes to do and which he does very well, and you know, he may even go on long which he also likes to do, and as he did once before at a convention.
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but unlike clint eastwood, he will see the blinking light. but i think it's going to be a great time. i think it will almost be equal to michelle obama. >> i have to ask you this, howard, because i have to ask you this. the other reason that bill clinton has sort of been out in the world has been the clinton global -- clinton foundation, doing the work it is doing internationally and also, you know, ginning up enthusiasm and support, potential donors for a hillary 2016 run. so in your expert opinion, will we see hillary again on the campaign trail in four years? >> she has said she's not running. i think that's exactly right. i think she is tired after many years of service she's put into this country. i think she's going to take some time when she leaves office, do the things that are meaningful to her, maybe write a book, maybe work in a foundation, do some other things that matter to her around women's issues and other issues, and i think that's the role we will see her in.
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>> a totally inconclusive answer, leaving the door open just this much for a hillary clinton bid. thank you, to governor rendell and margaret carlson live from charlotte. see you guys soon. coming up, we break down the dnc's diverse set of musical acts with musical expert and deputy mayor of new york city, howard wolfson, next. on every one of our cards there's a date. a reminder... that before this date, we have to exceed expectations. we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. american express. welcome in. we create easy-to-use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable
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welcome back. time for "what now." the dnc has some major musical acts on deck, including james taylor, mary j. blige and the foo fighters. howard wolfson is an expert. my friend, what do you make of that lineup? you told me actually the national and arcade -- >> it's a good lineup in charlotte. i think the national in ohio opening up for president obama would probably have been a better show and arcade fire playing for him in '08 was the
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show that i really was sorry i missed. >> if you were running for office and could have a musical act open up for you, who would it be? >> i think springsteen did an amazing job opening up for john kerry around the country in '04. that would be my choice. >> not grizzly bear? >> if we do brooklyn bands, grizzly bear. tv on the radio. >> i'm told we have to end the show now. thank you to howard wolfson for hanging and hanging tough. that's all for now. see you live, live from charlotte, north carolina tomorrow when i'm joined by sam stein, john heilemann and christine quinn. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon, andrea. good afternoon. thanks so much, alex. coming up, we have a really great show, some guests here in charlotte. chicago mayor rahm emanuel, actor and former white house staffer kal penn. former congressman patrick kennedy and teddy kennedy, jr. former white house aide melody barnes. mark halperin, chris cillizza and eric mccormick. all that next on "andrea mitchell reports" live from the
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